Monthly Archives: December 2012

Cheers to The Filling Station!

Thankfully, it seems the Craft Beer Movement  has really started to take hold  in Nashville these days.  With the addition of several great local breweries in the area as well as so many awesome restaurants selling the beers of these new local establishments.

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However, if you aren’t hungry and you still want a great beer on draft (without installing a tap at your home), your prayers have been answered by a new spot in the 12 South area, The Filling Station.

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The Filling Station is a small new store nestled behind Edley’s BBQ. The idea of the place is beer to go. They have 24 beers on tap.

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They have a generous variety of bottled beers too.

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You simply choose a growler  or 1/2 growler (or bring your own) and have it filled with your choice between 24 great beers that are posted on the wall in chalk.

The staff is excited about the choices and eager to help you choose one you are sure to enjoy.

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(I have no idea why I look so excited to see this guy or why we look like we might be taking an engagement photo. I have never met him before this day. This is why I hesitate to take or post  pictures of myself. I think the beer-to-go idea just got the best of me 🙂 )

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We eagerly arrived with our own growler and were miraculously able to agree on Lagunitas IPA. Perfectly  hoppy and delicious.   Normally I am a brown or black ale or stout girl but this IPA is easy drinking and I like to be agreeable.

This place is a neighborhood gem that I can’t wait to visit again. Check out their website for an up to date beer selection list. http://brewstogo.com/

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

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Eat Here! Jasmine Thai

Talk about an unassuming restaurant. From the street this place looks like any strip mall that would only house furniture stores and second hand shops. You will be surprised though when you when you walk into Jasmine Thai in the Cool Springs area. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a free standing gem in a far away land.

Jasmine Outside

Ok, ok, let’s not get carried away but it is pretty cute.

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The inside of the restaurant feels open and clean and the exposed ceiling makes you forget about the sidewalk you came in on and their neighbors to the left and right. No offense to The Factory Card Outlet or Rooms to Go.

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They have these really fun booths that are lined with Thai  triangle cushions. Let’s be real, who doesn’t love those?

The service is friendly and the servers never balk at my quizzing them about their favorite dishes in an effort to broaden my Thai horizons.

They also have a $5 (per bottle, not person) cork fee if you want to BYOB. Yes, please!

On this particular night we started off with Tom Ka soup and their spring rolls. One day when I catch on to this food blogging thing 😉 I will remember to take pictures of every course. Until that day-I had Tom Ka soup and spring rolls as appetizers.

For the entrees around the table and in no particular order:

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Duck Curry with Pineapples Grapes and Tomatoes

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Panang Curry with Tofu and Cabbage

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Pad Thai with Shrimp and Chicken

and

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Tofu Curry with Basil Leaf

Jasmine gets 8 apples and a return visit for sure!

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Turkey Chili Mac with Veggies

I always look so forward to the holiday season. From the day after Thanksgiving until December 26th it is ALL holiday ALL the time.  Then comes the crash of December’s End.  Blerg. If you are looking for a way to overcome the “post holiday blues” then you have come to the right place. This Turkey Chili   Mac will keep you on track for a cheerful new year.

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This chili mac has corn and zucchini which I don’t think is typical but it gives it a new freshness that I think you will like. It is a feel good comfort meal.

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Gather up all your players.

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Chop and dice.

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Boil

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Take a break to sample.

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Combine

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Serve

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Top with cheese and enjoy on a cold winter day!

Turkey Chili Mac with Veggies

Ingredients: 

1 pound lean ground beef

3/4 pound rigatoni or tube shaped pasta

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 cup corn kernels

1 small zucchini, diced

1 can rotel tomatoes and chilies

1-14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 cup sharp cheddar, grated

Instructions and directions: 

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to packaged directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwile, in a large skillet, heat oil over mdeium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add ground beef, and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Add corn and zucchini and cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and rotel with their juices and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with cheddar.

Adapted from everyday food. 

BBQ Chicken Burger Slider Recipe and Christmas

What a weekend! There was plenty to eat and fun to be had. We stayed in town this year and didn’t do much other than eat and relax. We hope everyone, including friends and family we weren’t able to spend time with, had a great holiday!

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The Hungry Apple got an ornament for the tree!

We got to spend Sunday afternoon with cousins.

Like a lot of  families, ours  loves  food around the holidays.  Appetizers and snacks are among the favorites.

On Christmas Eve when we are in town,  we have a tradition of appetizers for dinner. Everyone chooses an app and we pig out!

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Fruit and Cheese

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Crab Ragoons

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7 layer dip

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BBQ Chicken Burger Sliders (recipe below)

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Sausage balls

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And of course plenty of things to warm your spirits!

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We played games and did puzzles (poorly, I might add).

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We have a pajama tradition and this year we got these funny t-shirts!

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We woke up on Christmas morning  at 6  because I am a 5 year old with excitement, packed the car and made the short drive to my parents house.

Christmas day was indulgent again with a big breakfast that was so good I forgot to take pictures.

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More funny t-shirt wearing

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And Bloody Marys of course.

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One of the gifts I was excited to receive was the Vinturi. This gadget quickly aerates wine so it tastes its best in seconds. You just pour the wine through the Vinturi while holding it over your glass. I am not a wine aficionado, but I think it actually works! It was so cool.

All of this wine tasting and testing was followed by relaxing and a steak dinner.

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We started off with a salad with warm pan fried goat cheese. (recipe to come)

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Then we opened “crackers” and all displayed our Christmas cheer with paper crowns.

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The main attraction was steak, twice baked potatoes and roasted veggies.

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Dessert pushed us over the edge topped it all off. Bread pudding with ice cream and rum butter sauce.

The gifts and all the food were pretty gluttonous and I just feel very lucky. Hope everyone had the holiday you were hoping for. Merry Everything!

And now-the recipe!

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I just think sliders are the cutest sandwich. They turn a regular meal into an appetizer. I love that.

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BBQ Chicken Burger-Sliders

Ingredients: 

10 slider buns, warmed

1 pound ground chicken

3 tablespoons  grated red onion

1/4 cup grated cheese, i used cheddar (i recommend Monterrey jack-which I have used in the past)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

10 twists pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1/2 cup of bbq sauce, warmed (yours or the stores :))

1 cup shredded smoked cheese (slices would work too, i used smoked gouda)

Instructions and directions: 

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil and yellow onion. Sautee and caramelize for about 30 minutes.

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Meanwhile, combine ground chicken, 1/4 cup grated cheese, grated red onion, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, parsley and chili powder. Form mixture into 10 small patties.

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In a large non stick skillet that has been drizzled with olive oil, cook the patties 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly browned and cooked through. Top with shredded smoked cheese and cover for 1 minutes.

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On warmed slider buns, layer burger patty, 2 tablespoons bbq sauce and caramelized onions.

Slider idea was born from How Sweet Eats

Sock It To Me Cake

It has always seemed like I don’t really care for cake but I think the reality is that I am just not a big fan of icing. The cake itself I have always enjoyed (especially with a scoop of ice cream).

cake

I love coffee cake and pound cake too. That must be why I have always loved Sock-It-To-Me Cake.

cake plate

To me this is what it would be like if coffee cake and pound cake had a baby. A completely rational cake.

cake box

Buttery cake (from a box no less) with a layer of cinnamon and brown sugar make this cake the perfect addition to any breakfast or a sweet snack after lunch or dinner. Finally, a versatile all day cake.

box recipe

Yes folks, you just start out with a boxed butter cake.  Don’t judge! The recipe, that I have been eating since I was a tyke, is actually printed on the side of the box. It’s easy to find!

mixer

The mix gets dressed up with eggs, oil, water, sugar and sour cream.

flour pan

Then you grease and flour a bundt pan

cake pan

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the pan

cinnamon bowl

Sprinkle the magic cinnamon ring in the pan and fill with the rest of the batter.

vintage tree cake

After the cake has baked and cooled you ice it with a really simple drizzle of powdered sugar and milk.

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Then you eat it!

SOCK IT TO ME CAKE

Ingredients:

1 package Duncan Hines Butter Golden Cake Mix

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 water

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon powdered sugar (a splash more if needed)

Instructions and directions: 

Heat oven to 375.

Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.

To prepare cinnamon filling, combine 2 tablespoons of the cake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

To prepare cake, combine the remaining cake mix, eggs, sour cream oil and water.  With and electric mixer or kitchen aid mixer, beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour 2/3 of batter into pan. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture. Add remaining batter evenly over the cinnamon mixture.

Bake on 375 for 45 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

Cool 25 minutes and then invert onto plate or cake platter.

In a bowl combine powdered sugar and one tablespoon milk and stir until combined. Drizzle on cake.  If icing is too thick to drizzle, add a tiny splash of milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Chicken Burger Lettuce Cups with Homemade Salsa and Tzatziki

I love all types of food (shocking!) and Greek/Mediterranean are among my favorites.

It tends to be light and refreshing and oh so flavorful.

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These Chicken Burger Lettuce Cups with Homemade Salsa and Tzatziki really fit the bill for a fast and refreshing dinner. They aren’t heavy because of the crisp lettuce cups and they are full of flavor from seasonings, salsa and quick homemade tzatziki.

I have to admit that they would be good on a bun too, I think.

I should also mention I am a fan of both authentic and not-so-authentic Greek food and I think these are probably somewhere in between.

cucumber

Diced cucumbers are what makes the tzatziki taste so fresh to me. Tangy greek yogurt makes it different from other toppings.

tzatziki

Combine all the ingredients for the tzatziki and set aside so they can get comfortable with each other while you prepare the rest of the meal.

burger ingred

Get together the ingredients for the burgers.

Find a reputable burger “pattier”. Yes, that is a word.

patties

Patty mixture into 8 small burgers. (No real way to make this picture look good) You can already see the flavor in these guys!

salsa ingred

Gather salsa ingredients.

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Stir to combine.

lettuce

Break apart the head of lettuce.

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Grill burgers and place them on the lettuce, like you would a bun.  Top with salsa and tzatziki sauce!

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These wraps have layers of flavor with every bite!

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The leftovers (if there are any) make an excellent salad the next day!

Chicken Burgers and Salsa

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill

1/2 small red onion (1/2 thinly sliced, half grated)

1 pound ground chicken (lamb is great too!)

1 garlic clove, minced

3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper

1 cup grape tomatoes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 heat butter lettuce such as boston or bibb, leaves separated

Tzatziki

1-5 ounce container plain Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons mayo

1/3 cup diced cucumber

2 tablespoons parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

10 twists pepper

Instructions and directions: 

In a small bowl combine tzatziki ingredients. Set bowl aside.

Soak sliced onion in a small bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Using your hands, combine chicken, grated onion, garlic, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 grinds fresh pepper and feta cheese. Divide and shape into 8 small patties. Brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Grill until cooked through (about 12 minutes) turning once after 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain sliced onion. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, tomato slices and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve burgers in lettuce leaves. Top with salsa and tzatziki.

Adapted from Everyday Food

Eat Here! Burger Up

On a recent Saturday I had the pleasure of having lunch with a friend at Burger Up on 12 South in Nashville.

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(borrowed)

Burger up is one of my favorite burger places and has really unique takes on lots of different burgers. Bison, Veggie, Salmon and Turkey, just to name a few. They also have a location in Cool Springs.

My friend had never been there so I was pumped for her to try everything.

If you’ve never been either, then I will tell you that it is a very relaxed atmosphere with a hipster/farm house feel. Some of the tables are communal and you sit with others while some tables are stand alone. They also have a patio where they seat people year round.

Our server was Natalie. She was attentive without being annoying, super friendly and informative.  Thanks Natalie!

bu beer

I only had one beer but I am at a loss for the name of it. It was draft and it was good.

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We started off with the Beet Salad.

This was the best salad I have had at a restaurant in recent memory. Orange segments, pistachios, pickled red onion, mint, basil and cilantro made this salad a real party in your mouth.  Delicious.

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We also had a Grit Cake with BBQ. I am not a die hard bbq lover but this was savory and very tasty as well.

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We shared the Lamb Burger (boursin cheese, red onion, arugula and mint dijon aioli)  which has always been my favorite of their burgers and we got house fries with it which are always tasty too. They also have sweet potato fries, onion rings and sauteed spinach if you’d prefer those.

8 Apples to Burger Up. See you again soon!

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Holiday Baking-Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling

Holiday cooking and baking is in full swing at our house!

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Lucky for me I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so neighborhood treats, cookie swaps and office baked goods being constantly passed around aren’t a problem for me and my self control.

If they were passing out appetizers or cheese then this would be a different story.

That’s not to say I don’t like helping other people satisfy their sweet tooth.

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When you bite into these babies you’ll find a surprise of cream cheese and chocolate chips waiting for you! The best kind of surprise, don’t you think?

(Warning: don’t be discouraged by the volume of ingredients-i tripled the recipe for mass distribution 🙂 )

Cream Cheese

You start out by beating cream cheese with a hand mixer

eggs

Add eggs and sugar.

cream cheese filling

Then you fold in chocolate chips. Good so far!

cake mix

By using a box of cake mix and following their directions you create the keeper of the surprise filling.

cupcake liners

I chose gold cupcake liners.

cupcakes in pan

Fill up the liners 2/3 full.  And top with a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture.

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Let cool.

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Since these cupcakes don’t have icing they are perfect for individual wrapping.

What is your favorite holiday sweet?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling

makes 24

Ingredients:

1 box of devils food cake mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water

4 eggs (3 for cake and 1 for filling)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup sugar

1-8 ounce bar of cream cheese, room temperature

Instructions and directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl beat room temp cream cheese on medium until smooth. Add one egg and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix with beaters until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.

Wash beaters!

In a large bowl add the cake mix, 3 eggs, oil and water. Beat with hand mixer for two minutes. (A kitchen aid can be used for this step)

Line two 12 cup muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Fill liners 2/3 full with cake mix.

Top each with a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese mixture.

Bake for 16-18 minutes. Let cool.

Pasta with Slow Cooker Pork Ragu


Ever feel like you just can’t get rid of that irksome 5 pounds that just hangs around and you just know you want to lose? You work out all the time but somehow that last 5 just won’t get lost. Well ever since I started this blog I have come to realize the problem. Pasta. But I won’t let it stop me. It’s just too good!

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Though I won’t be confessing my pasta addiction a problem , I’ll be the first to admit that crock pots are not my favorite method of meal making.  I understand that they are easy and good for those on-the-go but (no matter how safe)  the idea of leaving it on all day while I am at work-seems like a fire hazard.

Instead of Setting it and Forgetting it, I Set it and Think About It ALL DAY!

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Today though I left it alone and crossed my fingers that my Pasta with Slow Cooker Pork Ragu would be delicious and that my house would still be standing when I arrived home to eat it. 

recipe

I got the idea for this recipe from Real Simple. Of course it deserved some Hungry Apple changes 🙂

onion and toms in pot

Just throw some ingredients into the slow cooker.

tom paste

This recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of tomato paste. If you don’t want to waste the rest of the can, might I suggest the resealable tube of tomato paste. This stuff is great.

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Add the pork tenderloin.

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Mix it up.

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Wait.

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Make some noodles.

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Dinner Time.

The house is still here and the ragu really was good too.

PASTA WITH SLOW COOKER PORK RAGU

Serves 6

Ingredients: 

1 large onion, diced

1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

8 ounces fresh mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon cracked red pepper

2 teaspoons sea salt

15 grinds freshly grated pepper

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (you could use butt or shoulder if you like)

2 9 ounce packages of fresh fettuccine (i used buitoni)

grated parmesan for serving

1/4 cup freshly chopped parley, for serving

Instructions and directions: 

In a slow  cooker combine: onion, the can of diced tomatoes with their juice (save the petite can for later), garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, cracked red pepper, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add the pork and stir to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 until the pork is very tender.

When one hour remains on the cooking time, shred pork. Add petite diced tomatoes and mushrooms.  Stir well. Recover and cook for remaining hour. Season with salt and pepper.

When sauce is ready, cook pasta according to package instructions.

Toss pasta with sauce and top with parmesan and parsley.

Adapted from Real Simple

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Simple Homemade Tarter

After our visit to the northwest earlier this year and after the amazing sandwich we fell in love with in Seattle at Pike Place Market, I decided since I couldn’t be there every day, I would make it at home.  (Was that a run on or just a long sentence?)

fish complete

The sandwich in Seattle was made with halibut but we don’t have 24 hour access to halibut here in the Tennessee landlocked grocery stores so I improvised with tilapia. It was so reminiscent of our sandwiches from vacation that I don’t think anyone missed the original!

onion

You start out by caramelizing a large red onion.

fish tarter ing

Then you make your quick homemade tarter with mayo, salt, pepper, a pinch of thyme, lemon and capers.

fish tarter mixed

Mix and set aside. Even non tarter sauce loving people like this stuff!

fish seasoning

Drizzle oil on both sides of fish and season on both sides with blackening seasoning. I like blackening seasoning with no salt. Otherwise everything is too salty.

Take a large french baguette and divide into 4 sections about the length of the pieces of tilapia and cut in half length wise. Depending on the length of the baguette as a whole, you might need two baguettes. Place the bread in the oven to warm while you pan saute tilapia.

fish in pan

In a large skillet over medium heat saute fish on both sides 2-3 minutes.

fish tarter on bread

Meanwhile, spread warm bread with tarter sauce on both sides.

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Top with the fish, caramelized onion, tomato and lettuce.  “Smushing” the sandwich down is the secret ingredient.

BLACKENED TILAPIA SANDWICH WITH SIMPLE HOMEMADE TARTER

serves 4

Ingredients: 

4 large pieces of tilapia filet

1 large or two medium french baguettes, sliced to 4 sections (to length of fish)

2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

4 pieces of crisp lettuce (i used red leaf)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 tablespoons blackening seasoning(more or less to your preference) , preferably with no salt (i use fresh market brand)

1/4 cup olive oil (or regular) mayonnaise

1 tablespoons capers, drained

pinch of sea salt

5 grinds fresh pepper

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

pinch of dried thyme

Instructions and directions:

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

In a small pot over medium heat oil and add onions. Cook on medium low for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, capers, salt, pepper, lemon and thyme to make tarter. Set aside.

Drizzle olive oil on both sides of each piece of fish and sprinkle each side with 1 teaspoon of blackening seasoning.

Place all the bread in the oven to let it warm. It can go directly on the rack or on a sheet pan, it doesn’t matter. 🙂

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook fish 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove bread from oven and smear tarter sauce on each piece. Place fish on bottom bread piece and stack with onions, lettuce and tomato. Smush and serve.